To apply for e-PAN, one needs to have an Aadhaar with an updated mobile number. Photo: iStock
If you don’t have a Permanent Account Number (PAN), you can now get Instant e-PAN from the income tax department. e-PAN is a digitally signed PAN card issued in electronic format by the I-T department. The service, which started on 29 June, is available only for a limited period on a first-come-first-serve basis. It’s free of cost. The applicant needs to have a valid Aadhaar number.
“The benefit for the taxpayer is they get PAN immediately and free of cost,” said Kuldip Kumar, partner and leader, personal tax, PwC India. Normally, “it takes 10 to 15 days to get a PAN and that too by filling the requisite form and payment of fees of ₹110. The taxpayer also needs to submit supporting documents of identity and address proof to the NSDL head office located in Pune, if they don’t opt for digital signature verification,” added Kumar.
Who can get e-PAN?
An applicant can apply for e-PAN through incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. As of now, the facility is available only for individuals. Minors, Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), firms, trusts and companies can’t apply.
It is also not available to those covered under Section 160 of the Income Tax Act; for instance, non-resident Indians.
How to apply?
To apply for e-PAN, one needs to have an Aadhaar with an updated mobile number. An OTP is sent to the mobile number registered with Aadhaar, to conduct the e-KYC.
Applicants do not need to provide any supporting documents such as date of birth and address proofs. e-Pan is generated using the details of information available in the Aadhaar database.
However, one has to upload an image of one’s signature and a recent photograph in the prescribed format.
Before applying for e-PAN, check your Aadhaar details and update them, if required, as the application can get rejected in case of any data mismatch.
No physical PAN card will be issued in case you have an e-PAN; once it’s allotted, you can download e-PAN from the I-T department website.
Why you need PAN?
A PAN card enables the I-T department to identify all the transactions of a tax assessee, such as tax payment, returns and specified transactions where PAN has to be quoted.
“There are several financial transactions where it is mandatory under the Indian Tax Laws (Rule 114B) to quote PAN,” said Kumar. This includes any sale or purchase of immovable property exceeding ₹10 lakh, securities exceeding ₹1 lakh, sale or purchase of a motor vehicle or open a bank or demat account or a credit card, to buy mutual funds or debentures, bonds, RBI bonds above ₹50,000, etc.
Individuals need to have a PAN to file their tax returns if their income earned during a year is taxable.